Pennsylvania is characterized by vast forests, beautiful parks, shimmering lakes and thousands of miles of rivers and streams. In autumn, the forests are ablaze with the most beautiful colors and winding roads lead through idyllic historic towns and over numerous covered bridges. The state is also a cultural hub, offering visitors many top-notch museums and an interesting mix of ethnic and cultural groups. Pennsylvania’s history is also of interest. The state began as an experiment by Quaker activist William Penn, Jr. King Charles II allowed him to establish a colony in the New World and Penn sought a green, wooded part of Pennsylvania, where he would take in anyone who believed in God. Less than a century later, the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution were signed at Independence Hall in Philadelphia—now one of the country’s largest cities—and the US was born.
- Travelationary: Covers basic information about Pennsylvania geography and economy.
Arriving by plane
Direct flights to Philadelphia are offered from Germany, including: – from Frankfurt/M. with American Airlines (AA), United (UA) and Lufthansa (LH); – from Munich with American Airlines (AA). From Austria and Switzerland, among others: – from Zurich directly with American Airlines (AA) and with United (UA) via Washington, Lufthansa (LH) via Frankfurt/M. and Swiss (LX)/United (UA) via Chicago; – from Vienna with Austrian (OS)/United (UA) via Chicago and Lufthansa (LH) via Frankfurt/M..
Philadelphia – London: 7 hrs 15 mins; Philadelphia – New York: 1 hour; Philadelphia – Frankfurt/M: 8 hours; Philadelphia – Vienna: 10 hours; Philadelphia – Zurich: 10 hrs.
The Jet Blue Airpass lets you book 3 or more flights across the entire Jet Blue network in the US at once. The Jet Blue Airpass is valid for 90 days, can be changed flexibly, and luggage is included. For more information on availability of the limited contingents, contact STA Travel on +49-69-255 150 000. Jet Blue flies to Pittsburgh.
Arrival by car
Pennsylvania’s road network is excellent. Interstate I-80 connects Pennsylvania with Ohio to the west and New York City to the east of the state. I-76 further south runs from Ohio past Pittsburgh to Harrisburg and Philadelphia. In addition, good highways connect Pennsylvania to cities in neighboring states to the north and south, such as Binghamton in New York and Morgantown in West Virginia, as well as Niagara Falls and Washington, DC. Tolls: The Pennsylvania Turnpike is a toll highway in the southern state that runs from New Jersey to Ohio. Other minor roads in eastern and western Pennsylvania are toll roads. The toll can be paid in cash or electronically with a transponder and an E-ZPass. Bus:
Note on arrival by car
Average car travel times: Philadelphia – New York and Baltimore: 2 hours each; Philadelphia – Washington DC: 3 hours; Philadelphia – Pittsburgh: 7 hours; Philadelphia – Chicago: 18 hrs; Philadelphia – Miami: 30 hrs; Philadelphia – Dallas: 37 hrs; Philadelphia – Los Angeles: 56 hrs; Philadelphia – Seattle: 59 hours Average bus travel times: Philadelphia – New York: 2 hours; Philadelphia – Washington DC: 3 hours; Philadelphia – Pittsburgh: 7 hours; Philadelphia – Chicago: 18 hrs; Philadelphia – Miami: 30 hrs; Philadelphia – Dallas: 37 hrs; Philadelphia – Los Angeles: 65 hrs; Philadelphia – Seattle: 74 hrs
Arrival by train
Philadelphia is connected to several Amtrak lines: – Acela Express: Boston – New Haven – New York – Philadelphia – Baltimore – Washington, DC; – Keystone: New York-Philadelphia-Harrisburg. There are also connections to New Orleans, Miami, Chicago and Montréal (Canada).
The Amtrak USA Rail Pass is valid on the entire Amtrak network. Detailed information under Arrival USA.
Arrival by ship
Three of the largest inland ports in the United States are located in Pennsylvania. Philadelphia is the world’s largest freshwater port, Erie is a major port on the Great Lakes, and Pittsburgh is the largest inland port in the United States, with access to rivers and inland waterways stretching over 900 miles.
The Delaware River Waterfront Corporation operates the RiverLink ferry across the Delaware between Philadelphia and Camden during the summer.
Passport and visa regulations
Entry with children
Since June 27, 2012, children need their own travel document (passport / children’s passport) for trips abroad (also within the EU). Entries of children in the parental passport are no longer possible.
Pittsburgh (website: www.visitpittsburgh.com ) is the second largest city in the state of Pennsylvania and was once the center of the steel industry. Huge skyscrapers stand next to beautifully landscaped parks in the bustling metropolis. Pittsburgh was once the center of the steel industry, but many steel mills are now closed and Pittsburgh now has a reputation as a green city. Point State Park
Fountain symbolizes the confluence of the Monongahela and Allegheny Rivers, which together form the Ohio. The fountain stands in the imposing Golden Triangle business district. Also the Buhl Science Center, the University of Pittsburgh, the Museum of Natural History at the Carnegie Institute and the Fort Pitt Museum (collections of historic Pennsylvania) are worth visiting.
- Usaers: Provides a full list of major rivers and mountains in Pennsylvania.
Philadelphia (website: www.visitphilly.com ), located on the Delaware River, is a major commercial, research, arts and industrial center and, as of 2015, the United States’ first UNESCO World Heritage City. Numerous historical places and buildings can be visited. In 1776, the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were signed in Independence Hall, which can be visited in the center of Independence National Historical Park. In the glass Liberty Bell Pavilion stands the bell that heralded the first public announcement of the Declaration of Independence. Franklin Court is now an underground museum on the site of what was once the home of Benjamin Franklin, one of the founding fathers of the United States. Also worth seeing are Old City Hall, Christ Church (Franklin and George Washington attended church here), Fairmount Park on the Schuylkill River, the Philadelphia Museum of Art & Rodin Museum, Penn’s Landing (1682 William Penn, the founder of the state landed here) and the Valley Forge National Historical Park west of town (a major memorial to the American Revolutionary War).
Philadelphia is a good starting point for trips to the “Pennsylvania Dutch Country” further west (see Pittsburgh section). The northern ski resorts of the Pocono Mountains, the south-eastern Delaware Peninsula and the beaches on the Atlantic (Atlantic Seaboard) are also worthwhile excursion destinations.
Philadelphia has always been known for excellent antiques and decorative arts. Top shopping areas include the New Market, Head House Square and the Bourse. The elegant department store John Wanamaker in Philadelphia is worth a visit. Clothing is exempt from sales tax in Pennsylvania. There are numerous outlet centers in Reading in the south of the state.
Numerous performances are held at the John B. Kelly Playhouse in Philadelphia during the summer months. The Academy of Music features operas and classical concerts by the excellent Philadelphia Orchestra, conducted by Wolfgang Sawallisch. The massive Mann Music Center in Fairmount Park hosts beautiful summer concerts. There are countless supper clubs, nightclubs, jazz clubs and ethnic events.
Each region of Pennsylvania has its own specialties. Pocono Mountain area restaurants offer excellent mountain trout. The dishes in Pennsylvania Dutch Country are tasty variations on German cuisine. Pickles, marinades, pickles, apple butter, dumplings, pretzels, syrup and shoo-fly pie are on the menu. Seven sweet and seven sour dishes are served as a cold buffet, similar to the Scandinavian smørgasbord. Tasty sausages and cold cuts such as Lebanon bologna and dried beef are also specialties of this region. The best restaurants for these dishes are around Lancaster. Beverages:
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The weather is quite changeable; occasional rainfall throughout the year. Warm summers, sometimes there are heat waves.
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